Turns out that stockhandling can be dangerous. I think I knew that, but it was still something of a shock when I found myself flat on my back, breath knocked out of me and taking inventory of body parts. Seconds later there was a crowd around me telling me to be still. Fortunately all my parts were/are intact and I got out of it with a hyperextended right knee and a sore shoulder.
The knee was a result of a ewe zigging when I expected her to zag and the shoulder was from the impact after flying a reported 4-5 feet in the air after getting clipped by the ewe.
This was on day three of a day three day trial and instead of my normal position at the ‘top’ setting and prepping sheep for the runs I was exhausting the sheep after each run was ‘finished’. I say finished here because the incident occurred because on the run in question the dog was not yet ‘done,’ at least in its mind.
Ranch class was running and the run is supposed to be over after the pen. The handler was to un-pen the sheep and maybe ‘push’ the ewes toward the exhaust area and pen. I usually let the sheep wander toward me before sending Scot to move them along. They would probably come all the way over on their own, but using Scot sped up the process.
In this particular case the dog was aggressively pursuing the sheep back to the exhaust with a look in its eye that I did not like at all. So I started to move forward between the sheep and the dog to block the dog.
Now keep in mind I have done this many, many times without incident, to me, the dog or the sheep. But on this particular day one of the ewes ran right into my right leg, right at the knee and sent me flying. According to reports of those witnessing the event I flew a good 4 to 5 feet in the air landing on my right elbow and wrenching my shoulder. Fortunately the ground was relatively soft and impact wasn’t real hard.
Almost immediately, or at least it seemed that way I had a crowd around me telling me to not get up and to be still. One of the first questions was whether to call 911. I did a quick inventory of parts and I could tell the trouble would be the knee, so checked range of motion and it was pretty good. Sore and swelling rapidly, but no real pain when bending the knee. So I said, no need to call an ambulance. As a plus some of the handlers present were pros. At least one nurse and a retired LAFD officer so I was under good care.
But as the shock wore off I could tell I was OK. I would be sore for a few days, but I could tell nothing was seriously hurt. The swelling is still present, although not as bad, and the yellow and purple bruising is coming to the fore as you can see in the photo below a week and a half after the collision. Another week or so and I should be back to normal. All I can say is thank goodness it affects my walking more than my cycling as I have a tough century to ride almost 2 weeks after the incident.
Remember to be careful out there!